(also known as the Charity Shield)

The Community Shield is the traditional curtain-raiser to the English football season, played on the weekend preceding the opening top-flight fixtures.

IT WAS FIRST contested in 1908 and has since taken on a variety of guises. It initially succeeded the Sheriff of London Charity Shield, introduced in 1898 as a professionals versus amateurs cup (‘gentlemen versus the players’). Following a falling-out between leading amateur clubs and the FA, football’s governing body initiated its own trophy to be played between the First Division champions and the Southern League champions. There followed several variations of this: from 1913 it was staged between amateurs and professionals; in 1921 it was contested between the Football League and FA Cup winners for the first time, and over the next decade or so alternated between these two formats.

In 1930 the Football League winner versus FA Cup winner format returned and, with a couple of exceptions, has remained ever since. From 1959 it has been staged before the start of the league season – rather than midweek in autumn as had often previously been the case. The game was first staged at Wembley in 1974. In 2002 it was renamed the Community Shield, after a government report said that the FA had breached fund-raising regulations in the way it handled cash raised by the game. The renaming of the competition removed it from the jurisdiction of the Charity Commission.

EVERTON FIRST CONTESTED the Charity Shield in 1928 and have one of the best records in the competition, winning it eight times and sharing it on another occasion.